The Spirit of Columbus

On April 17, 1964, a woman named Jerrie Mock landed her single-engine Cessna, named “Spirit of Columbus”, at Port Columbus International Airport, having become the first woman to fly solo around the world. In 2013, The Columbus Foundation created the Spirit of Columbus Award to recognize individuals who, like Jerrie, “have exhibited an exemplary community spirit through their accomplishments”. Today, the phrase has taken on new life as our community has embraced it to celebrate anything local “that distinguishes and inspires us”. As someone who has lived in and been inspired by Columbus my entire life, I’m clear that list is long. Columbus is the best city in the world!

Oh! Oh, my...! Photo credit: Bryan Barr

Oh! Oh, my...! Photo credit: Bryan Barr

Which is largely why I was so thrilled in 2015 when Yay Bikes! was invited to take over Bike the Cbus, Columbus’ annual neighborhood bike ride event. Now in its 10th year, Bike the Cbus is a shining example of all that makes this city exceptional. In the tradition of rides like NYC’s Five Boro Bike Tour, Pittsburgh’s PedalPGH and Detroit’s Tour de Troit, Bike the Cbus showcases 30 miles of the best of our city’s urban core and surrounding neighborhoods—Southside! Merion Village! Franklinton! Victorian Village! OSU Campus! Clintonville! University District! Weinland Park! Milo Grogan! King Lincoln Bonzeville! Olde Towne East! Children’s Hospital! Downtown! Brewery District! Whittier Peninsula! Bicentennial Park! German Village! More! In fact, for Bike the CbusPLUS riders, travel all of Franklin County! 

The Shoe in view. Photo credit: Bryan Barr

The Shoe in view. Photo credit: Bryan Barr

You’ve experienced many of these places, sure. But have you experienced them at the speed of bike? Because THAT is when you know, truly and intimately, the magic of a place—its smells, its hidden nooks, its vibe, its story. I promise you this. Ride a bike through Columbus and you’ll fall in love with it, or fall in love all over again. Something you experience riding Bike the Cbus or Bike the CbusPLUS will surprise and delight you. Whether it’s the hospitality of a local business, a route that shows you a better way to get somewhere, a picturesque view of the city, the new friends you make or something else entirely, you’ll emerge from this ride Columbus Proud. Guaranteed. 

Wait, what?!?! Photo credit: Ben Ko

Wait, what?!?! Photo credit: Ben Ko

A friendly hello greets a Bike the Cbus rider. Photo credit: Ben Ko

A friendly hello greets a Bike the Cbus rider. Photo credit: Ben Ko

This is our ride, Columbus! Yet another reason to be proud of this place and its people! 

So I personally invite all of you to join me in celebrating the Spirit of Columbus this September by registering for Bike the Cbus or Bike the CbusPLUS today! In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we’ve beefed up our afterparty, enhanced the snack situation, planned a surprise for the start, created new “greatest hits” routes from all previous years’ and added the opportunity for pre-ride bicycle education. We’re capping the rides at 1,500 and 100 participants, respectively, to preserve the experience (no one will have to walk their bikes on this one!), so get on it! Embrace this community asset, help make it a regional draw and keep kicking ass to make it better and better each year. All profits from the ride go directly to support the advocacy work of Yay Bikes!

Over the bridge into Downtown. Photo credit: Ben Ko

Over the bridge into Downtown. Photo credit: Ben Ko

Mark it. September 2. See you there!